Teach English in Qingtang Zhen - Yongzhou Shi

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Reading affects language acquisition based on the level of the content read, the type of content and in relation to the reader’s external sources of language acquisition. This summative text will explain the different difficulties than can arise when any learner of English using reading as their sole or primary mode of language acquisition. Reading over the level of your speaking and listening skills can cause errors in phonetics, such as mispronouncing words that you’ve only read and have not encountered in speech. As an example, an adult who gained some of the more obscure vocabulary through reading may see the word cliche or scimitar and pronounce the soft c, which makes the s sound, as a k sound instead. If the learner of the language had never heard these words in tandem with their spellings they may assign an incorrect phonetic pronunciation to them and may even fail to recognize their meanings when heard in spoken context. This can happen to foreign learners of English as well as native speakers. Many people can continue to make the same mental mispronunciations for a long time before realizing it. When it does come to light as a mistake it is also often hard to accept or they can feel ashamed as though they have made and reinforced a grievous error. Acquiring language through reading can also give your speech a formal tone to it, as written English is not the same as spoken English. Overly formal speech can feel pretentious and off-putting to native speakers and thus language acquisition through reading should be balanced with modern media and actual examples of spoken speech.However, depending on the level and type of content, reading can be a helpful guide on the structure of more formalized English, and can provide good examples on how to write in a professional manner, such as when creating a resume cover letter or writing to a work colleague. For example, reading a fiction novel will introduce a very different set of vocabulary than reading a restaurant menu, and different still from reading an instruction manual on how to put together anything from IKEA. Spoken English has many contractions, slang, and colloquialisms in it that may be too current or fall out of style too quickly to be included in published writings. When attempting to learn these such subtleties of English as a foreign speaker, there is a tendency to learn these through English Media which can be problematic. Such as if you watch only American TV shows like Jersey Shore or the OC and not only learn English in an american accent, but outdated and niche slang that is only used by old people or Californians, in other areas of the globe or even the US, people might understand you, but will also hear that something is off. Thankfully, there is not often an accent in written English except when directly quoting someone or when the author uses accents to place a character within a story. Thus, there are pros and cons to reading for language acquisition, and it should always be balanced with language gained from other sources. Finally, when learning about English via the classics or older literary works such as the bible, that can be more than just dated but literally written in the 1800s and before, and there is a whole new dynamic at play that can end up feeling completely overwhelming to a beginner student of English. For instance, trying to learn English by reading a Shakespearean sonnet can even to native speakers feel like you’re reading an entirely different language, which in a sense, is because it is. Many words throughout history have changed or even reversed in meaning and can be problematic at any level due to the evolution of the language. However the solution to this problem is simple. Don’t just read one type of content, and when learning English don’t just practice reading. To learn any language effectively, one must encompass a majority of its aspect and practice the skills of speaking and listening as well as reading and writing.